It's an executive order granting the federal government wide powers to freeze assets of suspected looters.
In addition to the executive order, President Buhari introduced a travel ban on a list of 50 prominent Nigerians who have already been investigated for corruption charges. While some laud the move as a tough new enforcement regime on anti-corruption, others have raised concerns about the rule of law.
First, the executive order is toothless.
In reality, anti-corruption agencies already have the right to impound the passports of targets of their investigation in order to facilitate evidence gathering. This EO seems to aim more at rallying the base than anti-corruption.
The EO is written to permit the attorney general to expand and publish the list "from time to time." This is its second flaw.
Well, it not only introduces the possibility that the list can be expanded to target political opponents but also creates no requirements that the public remain informed as to new targets.
But it can be challenged in court, right?
Not really. Flaw #3: While the EO creates the right to challenge it in the courts, it fails to identify the criteria and standard of evidence used to place individuals on the list. This makes it virtually impossible for any defence lawyer to adequately challenge the categorization of their client.
Our exact reaction. And let's not get into [Flaw #4] the unprofessionalism and carelessness that pervades the government's documentation process (the president's list, for example, contains two deceased individuals). Or that, more troublingly, [Flaw #5] many individuals on the list have already received favourable court orders that the Nigerian government has brazenly ignored. For example, General Dasuki has been granted bail by several different courts, due to the lack of evidence the government has provided. Yet, he remains in jail. This calls into question President Buhari's commitment to respecting court rulings, particularly as they pertain to the rights of the accused.
What We’re Watching
The second executive order, E08, which calls for Nigerians to pay taxes on all foreign assets and income. The courts have not tested this executive order yet but it faces one major roadblock. The federal government is attempting to apply it retroactively, insisting that taxes must be paid on assets and income earned before the order even existed.
What to do when your co-workers ask if you're on social media
Deny, deny, deny. The Daily Nigerian published a video that they allege documents Kano State Governor Ganduje collecting a $5 million bribe from a contractor. The video has no audio but depicts Governor Ganduje in a meeting stuffing bricks of dollars into his babban riga. Ganduje has denied that the events took place but the video puts the Presidency in a difficult position. Buhari has staked his reputation on the strength of his anti-corruption credentials. Turning a blind eye to a major figure in his party, especially one who has specifically cited Buhari as a source of inspiration in his own anti-corruption efforts, will harm him in the upcoming elections.
What to say when your work buddy gets a promotion
Congratulations!To Congolese gynaecologist Dr. Denis Mukwege who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work treating survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mukwege has criticized Congolese politicians for the "sham" elections coming up in December.